“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
After last week’s obstacle course of posting pictures, I decided to just go with commenting ponderings and text. Did not want to even format a “Preacher & Seeker.” Besides, I was reminded that the psalm passage is an accompaniment to the Old Testament passage, and this passage from psalm seems to me bring back to mind Esau’s giving up of his birthright. Later in the story of Jacob and Esau the lack of a birthright comes to haunt Esau and pursue Jacob. I wanted to explore that connection.
Consider, if you will, our faith as a birthright as being children of the Divine. Have we exchanged that birthright for things that do not last? What might that birthright give us further down life’s path?
“I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to observe your righteous ordinances.” (Verse 106)
Not only did Esau lose out on his birthright, but he also lost out on the blessing from his dying father. To his credit, Esau did care about that. But his brother undercut him and got to his father first. Praise be to the Lord God that for us, as children of the Divine, there are always blessing coming from the Lord God.
“I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word. Accept my offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your ordinances.” (Verses 107 – 108)
The Old Testament passage says that Isaac favored Esau and his outdoor ways. Their mother, Rebekah, had a soft spot for Jacob who stayed closer to the tent. Such are the ways of human emotions and sentiments. We attach ourselves to that which appeals to us, and set aside that which does not easily and immediately resonant in our beings. But the Divine is all things to all people – whoever that person may be. I think that may be why the Divine is so multi-faceted – to be in communion with all of humanity and creation. But our part is to stay close to the Divine, and conforming out life to that of the example Jesus Christ set down. Not inside oriented or outside orient, but upwardly and inwardly orient to the Holy Presence.
“I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law.” (Verse 109)
How might one live a balanced life? Holding on to the traits that make each one of us unique, yet following the Lord God that has always been and always will be the same?
“The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts.” (Verse 110)
It could be said that Jacob was wicked for entrapping Esau by his own hunger and exchanging momentary food for a birthright. But Esau as might have been wicked for not valuing that which was bestowed on him. They both valued, in their own way, that which their father could give them. Perhaps there was a defect in both of them that caused this family turmoil. We would not succumb to such low and unworthy impulses . . . . would we, beloved reader?
“Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.” (Verses 111 – 112)
It is interesting that Jacob ended up being the wanderer while Esau stayed with his parents and made a life where they lived. Jacob did return however. And Esau made the first move to heal the rift between the two brothers. Eventually they did remember and live out the deeper heritage of faith that came down through their forebearers. I pray that we, beloved reader, would come to that realization early in our lives so that our older years may be spent dealing within the favor of the Divine. Shalom & Selah!